World of Warcraft has changed a lot over the course of 15 years, and as much as players have enjoyed seeing the world shaken to its core by the Cataclysm or picking sides in the Battle for Azeroth, it’s easy to miss the simple joys of its original incarnation. Blizzard is letting you go back in time with World of Warcraft Classic, a re-release of the original game with only minor functionality tweaks. Here’s all you need to know to jump back in to a simpler Azeroth.
Release Date, Server Launch Time
WoW Classic will launch on August 27 worldwide, with a slightly earlier August 26 launch in the Americas and parts of Europe to keep aligned with the local launch times in all regions. Check below for your local launch time:
- 6 PM ET (North America) on August 26
- 3 PM PT (North America) on August 26
- 11 PM BST (Europe) on August 26
- 8 AM AEST (Australia) on August 27
Keep in mind, though, that Blizzard is anticipating high demand and possible long wait times for joining up as soon as the servers go live. You may want to consider creating or moving your characters to a low population server if you’re eager to jump in and don’t want to wait.
What’s The Same, What’s Different
WoW Classic aims to be an authentic recreation of the original vanilla World of Warcraft, as of the 1.12 patch. That brings the game up to its state as of August 22, 2006, just before the Burning Crusade expansion.
The Classic format promises classic raids like Molten Core and Onyxia, the classic talent structure, and the world as it stood as of that time during the game’s lifespan. It sports the original game’s combat mechanics, character models, and skill trees. That also means that the game will lack some convenience features like raid finder. The studio even issued a “Not a Bug” list to clarify that some systems being flagged as bugs by players were actually working as intended.
However, the game hasn’t remained entirely untouched. Blizzard wanted the game to reflect the original WoW, but it did implement some small quality-of-life updates.
“Anything that would affect gameplay we want to make sure that we deliver something that is authentic,” WoW Classic lead engineer Brian Birmingham told GameSpot. “Where we feel like quality-of-life improvements are okay are things like, tabbing to complete a name in in-game mail. That’s not a core part of the gameplay experience of leveling, and questing, and trying to explore the world.”
How Subscriptions Work
If you’re already a subscriber to World of Warcraft, you’re already a subscriber to WoW Classic as well. One subscription entitles you to both games. The same goes the other direction, in fact. If you sign up for a WoW subscription for WoW Classic, you’ll get entry to standard World of Warcraft as well.
How to Download
World of Warcraft Classic is its own client separate from your standard World of Warcraft installation, but it can be tricky to find. It doesn’t have its own tab on the Battle.net launcher. Instead, it can be found within the World of Warcraft tab. You’ll find WoW Classic in the Version drop-down menu just above the Install button.